How to Assemble a Thrifty Thanksgiving Tablescape


As far as holiday meals go, I’€™m firmly rooted in the belief that what matters most is who’€™s seated at the table, not just what’€™s being served on the menu. Having said that, it’€™s certainly nice when the food is tasty and the décor is warm and welcoming.

The ‘dinner’ part of my holiday meal is easy to take care, but it’€™s the tablescapes that usually leave me stumped, because I’€™m not big on store-bought pieces for my holiday table décor. It’€™s not that I have anything against them’€”I’€™m guilty of walking by Pottery Barn and spotting no less than ten things I’€™d want for my table within 30 seconds’€”it’€™s just that I don’€™t have the space to store them for the other 50 weeks of the year. So, I resort to using what’€™s already available in my home, outdoors and at the grocery store’€”I’€™ll be going there anyway’€”to add some colour and festive appeal to my thrifty Thanksgiving table.

For me, the first rule is to shop my house for:

  • Pumpkins and gourds (I love that novelty pumpkins are widely available now so if orange doesn’€™t match your interior colour scheme you can choose something more subtle)
  • White candles, as many as I can find
  • White everything: platters, vases, bowls, etc.
  • Wooden everything: cutting boards, bowls, serving boards, etc.
  • Glass vases
  • Texture: wicker baskets, burlap, twine, etc.
  • Stainless steel buckets, silverware, bowls (the more tarnished the better)
  • Kraft paper
  • Assorted greens

Second, I shop my yard, or nearby wooded area, for:

  • Branches, sticks, and twigs
  • Leaves, the more colourful the better
  • Rocks

Third, I hit up the produce aisle and pantry for:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Fresh herbs
  • Assorted nuts in shell
  • Cranberries
  • Popcorn kernels

Once the items have been collected, I group them together, like with like: all white decorations stay together in a cluster, branches and outdoor elements get are gathered in vases, fresh fruit are piled high into a bowl’€¦ you get the idea.

Also, I also have a board I bought at the lumberyard for $5, which I’€™ve stained and use in the centre of my table as the focal point of my tablescape. When it doesn’€™t hold seasonal decorations, I use it as a trivet or sorts, holding pots and platters full of food for dinner. It jazzes up the table when needed and looks best when used with a table runner underneath. You can see how I used it last year in our recent Thanksgiving gallery.

Tell us, how are you decorating your table for Thanksgiving?


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